How To Write Resume Headers: A Step-By-Step Guide
By Indeed Editorial Team
Published 8 November 2021
The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.
A well-formatted professional resume is a prerequisite for applying for a job. A resume header may be the first thing that a recruiter sees, and it is important to make it impactful and memorable. If you are in the process of applying for jobs, you may benefit from understanding how to craft an effective header for your resume. In this article, we discuss what a resume header is, why they are important, what to include in one and how to write resume headers.
How to write resume headers
A resume header may be the first thing that a recruiter sees in your resume. Hence, it is important that you make it engaging and relevant to the position. You can use creative formatting and incorporate an appropriate colour scheme to enhance the appeal of your header. Follow these steps to write and format a resume header:
1. Consider the format
The format of your header can match with the format of your resume for consistency. The format in which you present information determines how easy or difficult it is for a reader to attain key pieces of information from it. You can place the header in the centre or in the left margin according to the alignment of the rest of your content. Your resume header can have the same margins as the remaining content.
Related: Resume Format Guide (With Examples)
2. Make your name the focal point
The font size for your name can be bigger than the rest of the text to improve readability. This allows recruiters to quickly identify your resume while scanning through many such documents. It is best to avoid using nicknames or any names outside of your legal first and last name. You can also decide whether you would like to include your middle name or initial if you have a common name that may be difficult to find in a group of applications. Use a font and colour that is easy to read and gives a professional appearance.
3. Decide on a title
Your resume does not need a title unless you are in a specialised field where professionals use titles often. If you choose to add a title, you can include your position and professional title. For example, your title could be "Software Engineer" or "Doctor of Medicine." The title typically goes underneath your name or to the right of your name, depending on the resume format.
4. Place your address underneath your name
Since recruiters rarely contact candidates via physical mail, it is not necessary to provide your full postal address. Instead, you can provide the name of your city and state. If you are looking to relocate, then you can provide the names of the cities to which you wish to move. This can inform recruiters that you are willing to relocate to the business' location.
If you do not have any preferred locations, you can simply mention that you are open to relocation. You may consider adding your full address if you happen to live close to the job. Hiring managers and recruiters may consider factors like convenience and your commute before contacting you for an interview.
5. Use a professional email address
Email is one of the primary ways in which recruiters and hiring managers contact individuals for interview opportunities. It is important to use a professional email address that illustrates your professionalism, employability and a general sense of responsibility. Professional email addresses are typically the first and last names spelt out. It can also include initials to denote surname or middle name.
It is good practice to use a well-known email service provider. For example, your email could be, "email@example.com." If you do not have a professional email address, it is best to make a new email address that you can use for job applications.
6. Provide relevant links
Including links is also optional, but it can create a sense of curiosity and motivate the reader to further explore your profile or portfolio of work. If you present links to professional websites and relevant social media, a hiring manager need not conduct an internet search to gather additional information about you. This can complement the overall effectiveness of your resume. Include the shortened links instead of the full URL to save space.
Related: How To Make A Resume (With Examples)
What is a resume header?
A resume header is the section at the top of your resume that contains your name, job title and contact information. It highlights the key elements of your resume and serves as an overall introduction to your profile. While crafting a resume, ensure that the header aligns with the requirements of the targeted job role and your industry. You can use resume headers effectively in a proper format to engage recruiters and hiring managers.
Resume headers set the tone for the rest of your resume and you may strategically place them at the top. They can serve as a divider between the sections in your resume and can indicate what each section outlines. The most prominent resume header is the header at the top of your resume that holds your contact and personal information, and relevant social media links.
Why are resume headers important?
The appearance of your resume may depend mostly on its layout. How you style your resume and the placement of your header and sections, are some factors that determine your resume's layout. Resume headers are important because they make it easier for a hiring managers or an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) to scan. ATSs and hiring managers may depend on your resume header to understand whether you possess the key qualities they are looking for in an ideal candidate.
Hiring managers and recruiters may discard resumes that do not have a proper header or header format. On average, hiring managers spend only a few seconds to scan a resume. Hence, it is vital to provide clearly defined headers and draw attention to key points of information. This helps an ATS or a recruiter to understand your professional objectives clearly and can increase your chances of securing a job interview.
What to include in a resume header
These are the crucial elements of any resume header:
Your first and last name: You may provide your full name in the resume header. Try to use the same name across all platforms to make it easier for recruiters to find you online.
Title: You can add a job title underneath your name. You can provide this in a smaller font and include any license or certification you may have.
Your location: You need not include your full address, instead you can provide the name of your city and state. If you are willing to relocate, then you can mention it here.
Your phone number: Recruiters commonly contact candidates over the phone. Ensure that you provide a number you use regularly so that you do not miss any important calls.
Your email address: Recruiters and hiring managers may also contact you via email. Provide an email address that you check regularly to ensure you receive any crucial piece of communication.
Relevant links: You can include links to your portfolio, LinkedIn profile, professional website or a professional social media handle in your header. This can help recruiters find you online and assess your engagement in a professional domain.
Resume header example
Here is an example of a resume header, with name, location, contact information and social media links:
+91 98567 12348
Other headers to include in a resume
Other resume headers include the titles of each section, such as:
Professional summary: Professional summary is a statement given at the top of a resume. It describes your relevant experience, skills and achievements.
Core competencies: Core competencies showcase the skills that relate to the job. You may list them as bullet points rather than as a sentence.
Skills: This section includes a list of your technical skills. If you are applying for a job that requires specific hard skills, then you can highlight them by listing them under the skills section.
Work experience: The work experience section makes up a major portion of a typical resume. Here, you can provide details of your work experience, previous employers, job roles, duties, responsibilities and notable achievements.
Education: Educational qualifications are also key information that recruiters look for in a resume. You can include your most recent educational qualification first and list the remaining qualifications chronologically.
Certifications: You can include certifications relevant to the job role in this section. You can provide details like the name of the certification, certifying authority, duration of the course and location.
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